What Happens to Nash’s Cap Hit If He’s Out Long Term?

Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record is concerned that the Rangers silence on the status of Rick Nash (concussion) could mean another Michael Sauer situation.

And if Nash's concussion does lead to a long term absence or even retirement, Gross gives us the scenarios in which the Rangers can get out from under the remaining $39 million on his contract (ends in 2018)…

"Assuming Nash's health after this season, using the team's final compliance buyout on him makes little sense since, despite his $7.8 million annual salary cap hit, the cap recapture penalty in case he retires is only $200,000. Rather, the Rangers would have to put him on long-term injured reserve to avoid the cap hit."

Under the new CBA, a team who employs a player whose actual salary exceeds his cap hit in a given year will receive a "recapture penalty" in the event the player retires or “defects” from the NHL before the contract expires.

According to Cap Geek, placing a player on LTIR only provides relief if the team's cap payroll or "Averaged Club Salary" begins to exceed the upper limit. The amount of LTI relief is limited to the amount the team has gone over the cap — less the amount of cap space the team had at the time the LTIR transaction took place — and not the entire amount of the injured player's salary.

Eligible long-term injury space is calculated on the day the player is placed on LTIR. If the salary cap is $70.0 million and the team has a $69.0 million cap payroll the day Player A with a $4.0 million cap hit is placed on LTIR, the team's cap payroll or "Averaged Club Salary" can only exceed the cap by $3.0 million at any point thereafter.

Breakdown: $69.0M + $4.0M – $70.0M = $3.0M

…this is obviously nothing more than speculation from Gross, but it is a bit frightening to see it being discussed.

…the fact that Nash isn't even around the team is beyond concerning and pretty much guarantees we're not going to see him until at least the middle of November.

…and since the Rangers have pretty much no other consistent scorer than Nash, you have to wonder where the goals are going to come from moving forward. Unless we all believe that Richards can keep this pace up.

…which is why AV needs to change up his philosophy and try to grind out wins. This team needs to hit, generate a relentless forecheck and, I hate to say it, get back to the defense they played under Torts which would cut down drastically on the gaffes that are currently being make in the defensive zone. Oh yeah, Lundqvist finding his game wouldn't hurt either.

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